How to treat and prevent brown patch

It’s a beautiful summer day in mid-July. The sun is out, the grass is cut, and you’re a month away from the neighborhood BBQ. However, large brown patches cover your lawn, and you don’t know what to do. 

Don’t fret, this is a common issue that many homeowners face with their lawns, it’s called brown patch. Read along to learn what brown patch is and how to prevent it. 

What is Brown Patch?

Brown patch is a soil-living fungus which activates in humid months. It causes a brownish discoloration on the grass blade. As it develops, it will eventually cover the entire grass blade. Making the affected grass thin and brittle.

Why do you have Brown Patch?

Two common reasons: First, if the lawn is wet going into nightfall, the moisture causes the brown patch fungus to thrive and spread quickly. Second, brown patch loves areas with low air movements, such as in between homes, plants, and fences. It creates a perfect environment for the fungus to grow. 

5 steps to prevent brown patch fungus


Step 1: Don’t water at the wrong time

Watering the grass late in the day can leave it damp for nightfall. This is not ideal because brown patches thrive in high moisture conditions. Instead, water in the morning. This will give your grass plenty of time to dry off before nightfall. 

Step 2: Just enough water

Watering too often leads to the damp conditions that brown patch admires. Depending on the type of grass you have, you might only need to water it once a week. Check out Scott’s website for how to identify your grass and how often to water it. 

Step 3: Good Drainage and Compact Soil

Compact soil provides poor drainage for water, which leads the lawn to have too much surface moisture. The best course of action to counter this is to aerate your lawn at least once a year and test your soil to maintain a proper pH level.

Step 4: Mowing

Mow your yard regularly, to avoid spreading the fungus through the grass clippings. Mowing your yard about every 5 days instead of once a week can help stop the build-up of clippings. A general rule for how much to cut off is to never cut more than a third of the length of the grass. If more is cut off, it will damage the grass blade and will make it more vulnerable to brown patch. 

Step 5: Faster Results

Using fungicide early can be a good proactive move to control brown patch fungus. Fungicides are a dime a dozen, so choosing the correct one will depend on what is available and the type of application that works best for you. Whichever you go with, make sure to read the instructions. Most will require one or two applications per month. So, for best results use the fungicide at the first signs of brown patch.

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